With several states less than a month away of adopting laws allowing student-athletes to compensate from their name, image and likeness, Oregon took its next step Thursday.
According to The Oregonian, the Oregon State Senate passed legislation that would allow the state’s college athletes to earn compensation for their NIL, which is traditionally against the NCAA’s rules of amateurism. That is changing, however, as Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico all have NIL laws scheduled to begin July 1. Thirteen more states have passed similar laws with later start dates.
The NCAA is working on its own NIL update, with the Division-I Council planning to “act on legislative proposals regarding name, image and likeness during its June 22-23 meeting.”
“This isn’t just a bill … This is a movement,” Oregon senator Peter Courtney, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “Our college athletes have not been treated fairly. They sacrifice their bodies week after week but don’t even earn enough to send their mother a birthday present. Meanwhile, the NCAA and universities make millions off the names, images, and likenesses of their athletes. This bill is about giving back to our athletes what is rightfully theirs.”
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Oregon’s legislation, Senate Bill 5, passed through the Senate by a 23-6 vote. If the House passes it, the bill will go into effect July 1.
“College sports is a billion-dollar industry. Our players deserve their fair share,” senator James Manning Jr. said. “They are promised a ‘free’ education, but there’s nothing free about it. They pay for it by pouring their blood, sweat, and tears onto the field. It’s also an economic fairness issue. The NCAA and universities are profiting off our athletes, many of whom are Black and from low-income households, and preventing them from making any money for themselves. We have an opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of our college athletes.”
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